Twitter glitches thwart Ron DeSantis’ Presidential run announcement

The Twitter logo is seen through broken glass in this illustration taken on January 25, 2023.

Twitter experienced multiple crashes during the highly anticipated live audio chat between platform owner Elon Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Technical glitches hampered the announcement of DeSantis’ bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Since Musk took over at Twitter in October, he has initiated widespread layoffs, including many of the engineers responsible for dealing with software bugs.

Current and former Twitter employees have previously expressed concerns that significant workforce reductions would put the platform at risk of crashing during high traffic. As the event began Wednesday, David Sachs, a venture capitalist and close friend of Musk, acknowledged the strain on the servers, saying, “We have so many people here that I think we’re melting the servers. A good sign.”

Musk’s massive Twitter following has been cited as the cause of the audience’s problems. Despite frequent crashes, approximately 678,000 people tuned in to listen to the chat session. Eventually, the space session resumed, reaching an audience of about 304,000.

Last month, when Musk gave an interview to the BBC on Twitter Spaces, nearly 3 million people listened. However, frequent outages have become common since Musk took ownership of Twitter. In March, several users reported difficulties accessing links posted on the platform. According to NetBlocks, an Internet observatory, the incident marked the sixth major outage for Twitter since the start of the year, compared with three during the same period last year.

As the crash hit Wednesday, US President Joe Biden took the opportunity to mock DeSantis’ presidential bid by tweeting a fundraising appeal with the comment, “This link works.” Disruptive events during chat sessions led to “launch failure,” “crash” and #DeSaster trending on Twitter in the US.

The recurring technical problems faced by Musk-owned Twitter raise concerns about the stability and reliability of the platform, especially during major events and periods of high user activity. The layoff of experienced engineers responsible for bug fixes apparently contributed to the platform’s risk of crashing, highlighting the need for efficient infrastructure and support to ensure uninterrupted service to users.

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